Shrimp cocktail is a dish that is enjoyed by many people on special occasions, at seafood restaurants, at home and in many other places. When prepared well, shrimp cocktail can be a delicious dish. Some tips for making shrimp cocktail include using fresh or quality frozen shrimp, seasoning the shrimp during cooking, avoiding overcooking the shrimp, using a quality cocktail sauce and presenting the dish in a stylish manner.
When making shrimp cocktail, an individual should use the highest-quality shrimp he or she can find. For some people, this might mean using fresh shrimp. If fresh shrimp is not an option, quality frozen shrimp might be used. The shrimp should be large in size if possible, but shrimp of any size can be used for making shrimp cocktail. Shrimp that has been peeled and de-veined is best, but a cook can peel and de-vein the shrimp himself or herself if necessary.
To many people, the best part of shrimp cocktail is the flavor of the cocktail sauce, but the shrimp itself still should be seasoned during cooking. There are several ways that an individual might prepare and cook the shrimp, such as boiling it in seasoned water, brining and broiling it after seasoning or simply grilling the seasoned shrimp. Lightly seasoning the shrimp provides a complementary flavor to the shrimp's natural flavor and the cocktail sauce.
When making shrimp cocktail, it also is best for the preparer to avoid overcooking the shrimp. Cooking it for too long can make the shrimp tough or chewy and will not complement the dish well. Shrimp should be pink and opaque when cooked properly.
Cocktail sauce is the second main component of shrimp cocktail. Sauce varieties include ones predominantly made of tomato sauce and horseradish sauce and others that include tomatoes, horseradish and chili sauce. In addition to these main ingredients, cocktail sauce also usually includes a variety of seasonings and spices. Sauces bought in stores might be a good alternative to homemade sauce.
Presentation is just as important as taste for many diners. When serving shrimp cocktail, an individual should ensure that his or her presentation is clean and stylish. The presentation does not need to be extravagant and can be as simple as placing the shrimp on a clean plate with a dish full of cocktail sauce set off to the side. A more detailed presentation might include a large cocktail glass filled with sauce and rimmed with shrimp.